No! We are not Israelis... and we will never be!

Following the article published by Ahmed Charaï, owner of Global Media Group, in his Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Strategic Tribune, Hicham Aït Almouh responds with this Op-Ed.

Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the Sousi mosque in Gaza City on Monday. Mahmud Hams/AFP
Estimated read time: 2'

No! We are not all Israelis. And those who say so perpetrate a disgraceful outrage against humanity in general, and Morocco in particular.

We Moroccans are not Israelis, because our nation was never woven behind a myth, granting a holy land to a mob that transformed it to a battlefield where they did nothing but kill, massacre and loot.

Our history dates back to thousands of years, long before 1948. We fought the invaders, bartered with the merchants and welcomed the persecuted, among which Jews themselves. First our land harbored Jews who fled the Byzantines a long time ago. They became our kinsmen, living among us, speaking our languages and wearing our clothes. Then, centuries afterwards, we gave shelter to another group of Jewsfleeing the heinous bigotry of Isabel and Ferdinand in the XVe and XVIe century. How can we be Israelis!

Unfortunately, there came a time when we sold our Jews off like rotten merchandise. When did that happen? Well, guess what! After 1948! Our Jews were fooled to exchange their ancestral peaceful identity for a new one that thaught them how to murder innocent people or chase them away of their home. Can they have both identities? Maybe, but I can’t see how, bearing in mind what both stand for. A lot of MoroccanJews not only chose not to, but campaigned and are campaigning bravely against the atrocities committed by Israel. Jacob Cohen and Sion Asidon are still alive, Edmond Amran El-Maleh and Abraham Serfati passed away. 

We are not Israelis because, thank God, we are not - as Israel is - governed by a monstrous criminal who seeks content in killing children and bombing their houses. “Give me a war.”“That is what I do.” No. This is not the fictionalized dialog between Reynald de Châtillon and Guy de Lusignan, beautifully portrayed by Ridley Scott’s movie Kingdom of heaven. That’s the Israeli prime minister, in front of the mirror, every time he is pushed to power by a racist electorate. This time also, he is giving his people a war and letting the major part of the western media and some of us, those who sold their soul to the devil, put the blame on the Palestinians. 

What about the 248 Palestinians - among whom 40 children -killed in the West Bank this year? What about the most immoral army in the world desecrating every now and then Al-Masjid Al-Aksa and Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi? Is there any worse act of provocation not only against Palestinians but against all Muslims of the world? Anyways, Muslims did not react this time also. But Gaza did. 

And let’s not even go back to seventy-five years of massacres, lootings and deportations. We don’t want to start counting our dead. In the same way we can’t count exactly how many olive trees were uprooted in the occupied territories in this period. And human lives and olive trees are sacred. Can Israelis understand that? They can’t, as they don’t have roots. Moroccans and Palestinians can and have, nonetheless. 

We are not Israelis, because we are Palestinians. We are not children of a lesser God. We have a long common history. Our forefathers fought to protect Jerusalem and left children bearing both identities: “Maghrebi” and Palestinian. How can we be Israelis when Israel destroyed a large part of the neighborhood that has borne our name up till now, Harat Al-Magharibah!

We are not Israelis, because we let any visitor in, regardless of his race, creed or religion. Does Israel do the same? Hell, no. Even the 5.7 million Palestinians, who are registered (up to December 2022) with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, can’t go back to their homeland.

How can we be Israelis!

Article modified on : 12/10/2023 23h16